BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday released her ticket distribution data for the upcoming UP assembly elections in 2017.
To much surprise, she has given 97 tickets to candidates from Muslim community, 10 more than the number of tickets she has given to Dalits: 87, down from 88 in 2012 and 89 in 2007.
Mayawati's strong outreach for Muslims is reflected in the fact that the minor community got bigger share of tickets than Dalits, who she considers her most trusted vote bank. Muslims account for roughly 19% of UP's population and Dalits 21%, reports the Times of India.
Giving caste-wise details, in a press conference, she announced that of the 403 seats, "85 are reserved for the SCs and 87 tickets have been given to Dalits, 97 to Muslims, 106 to OBCs, 113 to upper castes (66 to Brahmins, 36 to Kshetriyas and 11 to Kayasthas, Vaishyas, Punjabis)."
The BSP chief said that she had decided the candidates long ago and there will be no change in it. She also ruled out any alliance in the coming polls.
OBCs, who account for 45% of the population, have been given fewer number of tickets this year compared to previous years. She had fielded 120 OBCs in 2007 and 113 in 2012.
Brahmins, among the upper caste, have been given the biggest share with 66 seats. This is, however, far less than 86 seats given to them in 2007 polls.
Asked if her ticket distribution data was in violation of Supreme Court's recent order restricting political parties from seeking votes in the name of religion and caste, she said she has not gone against the apex court's order.
She alleged that BSP was being dubbed a "casteist" party as part of a political conspiracy.
"During all the four governments, BSP has worked in the interest of all castes besides the dalits," she said, adding that her party has also demanded quota on economic basis for the upper castes both in and outside Parliament.
She also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetiation, alleging that he did it to divert the people's attention as "he had failed to fulfill even a quarter of his poll promises", including bringing back blackmoney stashed abroad.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Feature image source: PTI)